French PM's admission of enjoying free holiday courtesy Mubarak outrages opposition

Cairo, Feb 9 (ANI): French Prime Minister Frangois Fillon's admission to have enjoyed a free holiday on the Nile over the New Year at Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's expense has outraged the opposition in Paris who condemned Fillon's government, saying it has lost a "sense of public spirit".

The admission has come amid calls for the resignation of Michhle Alliot-Marie, France's foreign minister, over a New Year holiday in Tunisia during which she twice used a private jet owned by a tycoon allegedly close to the country's deposed president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, The Telegraph reports.

Fillon's office said in a statement that his family had enjoyed a free holiday from December 26 to January 2 in the Nile resort of Aswan, then went on a Nile boat ride and a flight on an Egyptian government plane to go sightseeing.

"The Prime Minister was lodged during the visit by the Egyptian authorities," the statement said.

The statement also said that unlike Alliot-Marie, Fillon's trip happened before any hint of anti-government protests in that country, and added that it was like an official visit because he had met Mubarak in Aswan for 90 minutes on December 30.The prime minister, again at the invitation of the authorities, used a plane from the Egyptian government fleet to travel from Aswan to Abu Simbel where he visited a temple," it added.

The revelations have outraged the French opposition, who have accused the French government of being guests of "Air Ben Ali" and "Air Mubarak".

"Day after day one sees just how much this government has lost its sense of public spirit," Martine Aubry, the Socialist party leader, said. (ANI)

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